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Well there is no doubting that even the most one-eyed Australian supporter will most likely be thinking about a lot of things today. Victory in this test will only occupy the last remaining piece of the heart that still believes the fighting spirit from a Border, Waugh or Ponting is still having an effect on this current team.
As a fan, is it just time to move on and come to terms with the fact that we no longer hold the players to get us out of the deep shit anymore.
Clarke’s effort in South Africa will long be remembered, no doubt. Outside of this, just from memory, I’m struggling to find another performance that took us from a standing 10 count, back to victory.
I mean, we have won a good percentage of our games in the last 18 months, but most of those games have been by bullying the opposition into submission from the outset. We haven’t had to chase very often, and if we have, it’s certainly not from a heart sinking low like the current situation.
Trailing by 200 after day one…. And they still have six wickets in hand.
While the batting has been below dismal, the selectors will be wearing this one right on the chin. What a weak move bringing in the extra batsmen. I understand that we could of used 20 extra batsmen, but i think it showed just how concerned they change room is behind closed doors.
Josh Hazelwood is 100% a long term member of this squad, but he needed to sit this one out. Some people would have said Starc, I would say to them that Starc has done exactly what we thought he would do. Take wickets but lack consistency.
Hazelwood has been selected to put the ball on a dime every time. When the Mitch’s are getting a bit of stick, its Hazelwood’s role in this test XI to bring the scoring back. To build pressure from one end while they bash them from the other.
When comparing the figures, Hazelwood has the better. 15 wickets at 25.22 says there isn’t much wrong there. Starc has 15 wickets at 30.2 which tells me he is doing what we expected him to do.
So why would I have dropped Hazelwood? I think that at crucial times he has lacked the control he is selected for. Clarke needs to be able to throw, whoever is in that role the ball when the chips are down and say, let’s get back to square one and get control. Unfortunately it hasn’t worked like that.
I never thought I would say it until a few days out from this test. Siddle 100% should have played here. It’s just that simple. More so than the Marsh swap, this is the trick the selectors missed. If Siddle doesn’t play in a scenario like this, why the hell is he on tour?
Siddle is that workhorse. He just steams in and puts in the same spot all day, just ask KP. His subtle variations are all that is needed on this wicket. Even after getting bowled out for 60, I think Siddle would have had one of them before lunch. Both bowlers didn’t look bad in the first three overs, but they certainly didn’t hit the spot.
Hazelwood has now bowled 20 overs, basically in the last two sessions of the first days play. Follows on from a pretty busy year really. After completing a comeback from injury he has done it all. From the world cup to the Windies, he’s been there. After not quite getting it right for the first three tests, I thought now was a great time to let him have a break, and give the experienced campaigner have a crack. Especially considering Siddle played county at Notts. He would have been licking his lips.
I thought the selectors had been going pretty good lately. The big call anointing Smith as the next captain. Dropping Haddin permanently, while was a very tough call, I have to agree with 100%, Nevil is ready, Haddin has been out of form and there should be very little room for nostalgia. Voges was due to go, he got a massive lifeline with this brain fart….. I will have a look at my squad for the fifth test match in the next post.
Till then, just keep drinking… the pain does ease.